MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – It happened during the administration of President NoyNoy Aquino: Manila’s street children were hidden from the eyes of visiting foreign dignitaries. During the visit of Pope Francis and the APEC Summit, homeless children and families were rounded up and sent on an all-expense-paid ‘vacation’ to resorts outside of the metropolis.
It’s not gonna happen under the Duterte administration. Change has come.
In January, 2017, when the Philippines hosts the Miss Universe Pageant, there will be no rounding up or hiding of Metro Manila’s street children.
In fact, if Duterte had his way, the children will be part of the festivities from beginning to end.
The ‘leaked’ plan was to have the street children line up the streets of Metro Manila to wave the Philippine flag as contestants from more than 80 countries arrive for the competition.
At the pageant finals, each of the beauties will be escorted by a street child during the parade of nations. The children will come as they are: some barefoot, others wearing torn t-shirts and shorts, and still others with dilapidated flipflops.
A Duterte spokesperson told The Adobo Chronicles that as host, the Philippines should show the world the real situation, without any sugar-coating or artificial staging for the cameras.
Earlier, Duterte indicated that he didn’t want Steve Harvey to host the Manila pageant (At the last pageant, Harvey mistakenly announced Miss Colombia as the new Miss Universe instead of Miss Philippines.)
The Miss Universe Organization has not commented on the Duterte administration’s suggestions and demands.